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Full text of "General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV letter to Soldiers being dischanged following World War II"

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To : All Personnel Being Discharged From The Army of The United States. 

You are being discharged from the Army today - from your Army. It is your Army 
because your skill, patriotism, labor, courage and devotion have been some of the factors 
which make it great. You have been a member of the finest military team in history. 
You have accomplished miracles in battle and supply. Your country is proud of you and 
you have every right to be proud of yourselves. 

You have seen, in the lands where you worked and fought and where many of your 
comrades died, what happens when the people of a nation lose interest in their government. 
You have seen what happens when they follow false leaders. You have seen what 
happens when a nation accepts hate and intolerance. 

We are all determined that what happened in Europe and in Asia must not happen 
to our country. Back in civilian life you will find that your generation will be called upon 
to guide our country's destiny. Opportunity for leadership is yours. The responsibility 
is yours. The nation which depended on your courage and stamina to protect it from its 
enemies now expects you as individuals to claim your right to leadership, a right which 
you earned honorably and which is well deserved. 

Start being a leader as soon as you put on your civilian clothes. If you see intoler- 
ance and hate, speak out against them. Make your individual voices heard, not for selfish 
things, but for honor and decency among men, for the rights of all people. 

Remember, too, that No American can afford to be disinterested in any part of his 
government, whether it is county, city, state or nation. 

Choose your leaders wisely - that is the way to keep ours the country for which you 
fought. Make sure that those leaders are determined to maintain peace throughout the 
world. You know what war is. You know that we must not have another. As individ- 
uals you can prevent it if you give to the task which lies ahead the same spirit which you 
displayed in uniform. 

Accept that trust and the challenge which it carries. I know that the people of 
America are counting on you. I know that you will not let them down. 

Goodbye to each and every one of you and to each and every one of you, good luck ! 

General, U. S. Army 

3352— SAAGD— 6-20-46 - 90,000